Shoni Schimmel’s Career Comes to a Close in Electrifying Fashion
Shoni Schimmel’s heroics throughout her four-years playing for the Louisville Cardinals have been well documented. Facing the end to her shining career, the Umatilla citizen was off by about two inches from extending her career at least another 5 minutes.
After scoring 14 points in the first half, she faced a stingy defense filled with double-teams forcing the guard into bad shots and passes leading to turnovers in the second half. She missed seven straight shots during a stretch where Maryland took advantage with a 20-4 run.
Third seed Louisville’s Final Four hopes were slowly slipping away but not before an electric final 3 minutes. Down 62-53 following Maryland All American Alyssa Thomas’ two point tip in at 3:04, Jude Schimmel, Shoni’s younger sister, made 1-2 free throws, before Maryland’s Lexie Brown (20 points, 6 rebounds, 4, assists, 4 turnovers) hit two free throws to drive the lead to 10 with 2:39 remaining. Maryland’s Laurin Mincy (8 points, 4 steals, 3 turnovers) hit two more free throws with 2:03 on the clock following a Jude turnover to push the lead to a dozen.
Fourth seeded Maryland looked well in control as visitors in the KFC Yum! Center.
Then Shoni found her rhythm.
Shoni got a steal, and following two Louisville offensive rebounds (Monny Niamke and Bria Smith), she hit a 3-pointer to close the lead to 70-65 with :31 to play.
Maryland pushed the lead back to eight at the foul line on two separate occasions.
Shoni again hit a 3-pointer with :20 left to play, followed up by a Jude steal, and two Tia Gibbs free throws to close the lead to 73-70 with :14 from a Final Four spot.
Gibbs would foul out on the next play, sending Maryland’s Shatori Walker-Kimbrough to the line for two shots, extending the lead back to five.
The sparkplug senior from Louisville was not ready to quit though, as she hit another three from about 24-feet out with :07 left to close the lead to 75-73.
Louisville’s Antonita Slaughter fouled Thomas (22 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 3 turnovers) sending her to the line, where she missed her first of two free throws. The second hit the back of the rim, then bounced through the nylon pushing the lead to 3 with 3.5 seconds left.
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